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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Lancaster family come from? What is the English Lancaster family crest and coat of arms? When did the Lancaster family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Lancaster family history?

Lancaster is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Lancaster family lived in the city of Lancaster, in Lancashire.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Lancaster include Lancaster, Lancashire, Lancester, Lancoster, Lancastell and many more.

First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat as Constables of Lancaster Castle from very ancient times soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lancaster research. Another 435 words(31 lines of text) covering the years 1068, 1066, 1070, 1114, 1150, 1334, 1618, 1650 and 1717 are included under the topic Early Lancaster History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 53 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lancaster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Lancaster family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Lancasters to arrive on North American shores:

Lancaster Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Gowen Lancaster arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Gowen Lancaster, aged 28, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Owen Lancaster, who arrived in Virginia in 1639
  • Wm Lancaster, who landed in Virginia in 1658
  • Antho Lancaster, who landed in Virginia in 1665

Lancaster Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Marmaduke Lancaster, who landed in Virginia in 1714

Lancaster Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William Walter Lancaster, who arrived in New York in 1834
  • Edward, Frederick, John, Joseph, Mary, Richard, Thomas and William Lancaster all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860


  • Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster (1913-1994), American film actor who came to be regarded as one of the best actors of his generation
  • Sir Osbert Lancaster CBE (1908-1986), English cartoonist, author, art critic, and stage designer
  • Penny Lancaster -Stewart (b. 1971), English model and photographer, wife of rock singer Rod Stewart
  • Marshall Lancaster (b. 1974), British television, film, and stage actor
  • William Newton "Bill" Lancaster (1898-1933), pioneering British aviator
  • Geoffrey Lancaster (b. 1954), Australian classical pianist and conductor
  • Gary L. Lancaster (1949-2013), United States federal judge, Assistant District Attorney and lawyer


  • Lancaster, the John Harrison Lancaster Families by Cora Belle Lancaster Kirk.

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  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
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  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Lancaster Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lancaster Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 30 September 2014 at 23:05.

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